Farming and 4-H has been part of life for Anita Mappin of Byemoor for many years, and that dedication has now led her path to the Alberta 4-H Hall of Fame.
She is one of two Albertans who were inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame in a ceremony Jan. 15 in Red Deer to recognize her devotion to the province’s youth and outstanding leadership in their communities.
“I was thrilled and surprised when I received the phone call telling me that I had been nominated and chosen to be inducted in the Alberta 4-H Hall of Fame,” said Mappin, who has been involved with the Stettler 4-H district for more than 20 years and was instrumental in starting a 4-H club for Byemoor School this year.
“It is indeed a great honour and quite humbling,’ she said as family celebrated with her.
Active in the Sullivan Lake West Agricultural Society and Alberta Lamb, she has also served as president of the Alberta 4-H Council and representative on the Canadian 4-H Council.
She received the award from Agriculture and Rural Development Minister and Drumheller-Stettler MLA Jack Hayden, who actually started driving school bus with Mappin over 30 years ago in the Byemoor area.
“It was very special that he could present me with this award,” said Mapplin.
She joined an elite group of 73 Alberta men and women inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame since it opened in 1971.
The 2010 inductees were appraised as demonstrating the ideal qualities of past hall-of famers and outstanding leadership to promote the 4-H motto “Learn to Do by Doing”, living out the 4-H pledge of service and commitment to club, community and country through all activities and levels of the organization.
“I believe that receiving this award will probably be the highlight of my 4-H career, but the things that are close to my heart are the members, leaders and the accomplishments they make as they work in the 4-H program,” said Mappin.
She had already been honored with a 4-H Award of Distinction for the east central region in 2000.
Mappin became a 4-H member when she was 12 years old and stayed with the Stettler and Waverly 4-H beef clubs for five years.
“ I got involved because I had grown up within the program and being a shy person, the communications and involvement in 4-H activities helped to draw me out of my comfort zone,” said Mappin.
“Today, my job as a volunteer on the Canadian 4-H Council is to represent the grassroots of our organization, that being 4-H members and their leaders.”
“My years working with them have made me very aware of their needs and concerns.”
The 4-H program has been an integral part of her life.
“I think that the highlight is seeing a 4-H member do well on their achievement day and be proud of what they have accomplished; seeing a 4-H member speak in front of a crowd and know that you had helped them overcome their fear of speaking or a 4-H member doing a presentation and really convincing the crowd,” she said.
Over the years, she has served as president of the Stettler District 4-H Council, president of the East Central 4-H Regional Council, the first Key Leader in the Stettler district.
With the Alberta 4-H Council, she served as a representative for the east central region, along with president and treasurer.
“The success of the Alberta 4-H program can be credited to the hard work of its members and leaders,” said Jack Hayden, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and MLA for the local Drumheller-Stettler electoral division.
“The level of commitment these inductees have to 4-H influences the lives of youth, many who have gone on to be successful and accomplished leaders in their communities and in the agriculture industry.”